Anaconda celebrates Fourth of July in style

Below are some sights of the annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks show on Saturday night high above Washoe Park. The fireworks show was made possible by American Veterans (VFW/American Legion) in association with Wayne and Sherri Lubbes of the Paradise Bar and Montana Display Fireworks out of Missoula. (ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT CS PHOTO)

First, a little side note. Veterans from Anaconda collect year ’round for the fantastic show. They hold a fundraising golf tournament annual at Anaconda Country Club along with several other means of donations. If you would like to provide a tax-deductable donation for the show, contact me via the email link.



The Honor Guard of the American Legion Post No. 21 start the parade on Main Street.


Kids with Toys For Tots ride bikes through the parade route


A car load of patriotic youngsters throw candy to appreciative onlookers.

Anaconda native Joe Wren, a TV sports and features reporter for FOX in Salt Lake City, was the Grand Marshall of the parade.

Anaconda native Joe Wren, a TV sports and features reporter for FOX in Salt Lake City, was the Grand Marshall of the parade.


Life Flight Network, the regional ambulatory partner with Community Hospital of Anaconda, was quite a hit with their parade submission.


Members from the Anaconda Community Band.


American Legion Post No. 21 veterans celebrate the Holiday parade


Everyone knows John around Anaconda, the bubbly, affectionate vet brings out the classic eyewear for the parade.


Ol’ Tex celebrates Americana


Wayne and Sherri Lubbes with their classic Ford


Playing music on the ABC Building Center flatbed has become a parade tradition.


Jim Tracy on the drums on the ABC float


Volunteer firetrucks line the route with the courthouse in the background


Jerry “Arnie” Arneson leads the Marine Corps League and Toys For Tots down the route


Cadence is important during the Honor Guard march.


The Post and POW/MIA flags presented during the parade.


Not many people realize the work involved in putting on such a large fireworks show. Montana Display Fireworks of Missoula are the official sparkies of the show but need tons of volunteer help to pull the show off. Here, eight banks of mortars are being prepped for the presentation, all of which are strategically placed in order to provide specific show bursts. The setup takes about 4.5 hours according to the staff.


Volunteers load mortars with Washoe Park baseball stadium in the background.


Filling out the final mortars.


Wayne Lubbes sets one of the loads atop the mortar


A look at the early part of the show with Anaconda in the foreground.












This photo give a good perspective on how high the fireworks are launched above Washoe Park the the light some of them emit being shot.






Fireworks banned for Fourth in Deer Lodge County



A decision made by Anaconda-Deer Lodge County CEO Connie Ternes Daniels today will shut down Fourth of July fireworks celebrations throughout Deer Lodge County.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 3, the county has issued a ban on selling or use of recreational fireworks by the public. The primary reason for the ban according to a county-issued press release was due to new information from the National Weather Service.

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Anaconda Relay For Life set for Saturday

Some changes surround the annual Relay For Life event from year’s past, all of which were made in order to encompass more of the community in an attempt to increase participation.

This year the event will move from Mitchell Stadium to the Kennedy Common, beginning with team registration and the survivor luncheon at 1 p.m. relay for life

The opening ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. on the main stage and will be followed by several fun activities until 9 p.m. Luminarias will be on sale at the event with a last call set for 7:30 p.m. Luminarias will be lit during the ceremony from 9:30-10:30 around the infield sidewalks and accompanied by a remembrance of those who have been affected by cancer.

Closing ceremonies will take place at midnight.

For more information on how to take part in the event, silent auction, 50/50, raffles or to purchase a Luminaria, please stop by the registration tent for more information.

Click on the link below for a full list of events.

2015 ceremonies and activities


Dirty 30 Family Mud Run Saturday west of Anaconda

The uber popular mud run has made its way to Anaconda.

The Dirty 30 Family Mud Run to benefit Kiwanis of Anaconda will be held at 1633 North Cable Rd. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. mud runSaturday, May 30.

Registration begins at 1o a.m. at the site. Food, refreshments and adult beverages will be available for purchase on site as well.

Cost for participation is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $40 for a family of four or a team of six for $100, and ages 8-and-under are free.

You can also sign up online at or follow on Facebook here

ASA Co-Ed, Women’s and Men’s leagues in Anaconda begin May 18

Rosters are available for Co-Ed, Women’s and Mens ASA softball teams for play in Anaconda.
Co Ed league play will begin Monday May 18. The Men’s and Women’s leagues won’t start until Thursday May 28 due to the Class A State Tournament being played the week prior.
Players must be going into a freshman in high school to participate in any of the programs. To obtain a roster contact ASA District Commissioner Bill Hill at 560-1197.

MSU Extension hosts ‘The Real Forrest Gump’ April 8 at Old Works G.C.

Often called The Real Forrest Gump, Robert Sweetgall walked across America 7 times and is the only person to have walked through all 50 states (11,208 miles) in 365 consecutive days. Sweetgall has also walked across Montana twice – Lookout Pass to Baker and Baker to Lookout Pass (both winter treks). Now, he will be in Anaconda giving his world-renown advice for better health through exercise.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

The Montana State University Extension Service of Anaconda -Deer Lodge County and community partners are pleased to present Robert Sweetgall on April 8 to speak on Brain & Heart Health and to inspire school administrators, teachers, seniors, health advocates and the community at large to walk and move more for healthier brains, hearts and overall well-being.

Robert Sweetgall’s first presentation at the Old Works Golf Course on April 8 (7-7:45 a.m. breakfast for school teams and administrators and 8-10 a.m. wellness workshop for school teams) will focus on simple, sustainable, no-cost ways to incorporate more movement into school days at the k-12 level to improve fitness, focus, brainpower, test scores, behavior, health and happiness.

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2015 St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Anaconda

Here’s a look at some of the highlights I saw from today’s St. Paddy’s Day celebration going on in Anaconda.

First, here’s a short video taken after the parade at the AOH Hall featuring Anaconda’s Bagpipers.

(If the video doesn’t automatically load, click HERE for the direct YouTube link)


The Bagpipers march in the 2015 parade


The Anaconda LAOH Washerwomen make their annual appearance in the parade.


Grace Mehrens rides in the Grand Marshall float in place of her dad, Bob Mehrens, who was walking the parade route.


Bob Mehrens was named the 2015 Anaconda St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshall.


Kim Jones took time out of her busy day to hold the sign for the Bagpipers.


Anaconda American Legion Post No. 21 member Art Ellison presents the American Flag during the parade.


Ralph Villa presents the Montana Flag for Post No. 21


A view from Cherry St. west up Park Ave. with Garrity Mountain in the background.


The Little Ashlings throw candy out for the parade goers.


BJ Bjornemo totes two pounds of candy through the streets of Anaconda for kids along the route.


Bagpiper Peter Lorello.


Phil Watt of Post No. 21


The Little Ashlings perform for Lincoln Elementary Tuesday morning


The Little Ashlings perform for FMMS Tuesday morning


Proud dad alert: Justine of the Little Ashlings gets some air at FMMS, even sticks her tongue out like His Airness!


Joe Strelnik beats the snare drum for the Bagpipers after the parade at the AOH Hall.



AOH-Locker Room run announces 2015 winners


Racers Reece Connors, left, his father Ken Connors and Butte’s Richie O’Brien finish the 2015 Anaconda AOH-Locker Room St. Pat’s Race Saturday afternoon.



According to the final numbers, 658 of the 821 registered participants in the 3- or 6-mile AOH-Locker Room St. Pat’s Race completed the event under unseasonably warm but windy conditions Saturday afternoon in Anaconda.

Those totals, however, pale in comparison to the numbers who actually partake in the event.

Runners from ages 1 to those well into their 70s and beyond competed in the race – some crossing the line on their own accord or by being pushed in strollers decorated in St. Patrick’s Day flare – adding another historical run into the books for the Anaconda Hibernians.

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‘Between The Parks’ series features two former Copperheads

Between The Parks



A love of storytelling, journalism and cinema — not to mention a friendship which has blossomed from the halls of Anaconda High to the beautiful campus of University of Montana — has led to a unique venture through some of the most historic and pristine places in Montana.

Anaconda’s own Brin Merkley and Henry Hawkins have joined forces with others to create a one-of-a-kind experience involving travels through some of Montana’s outdoors destinations in a production called Between The Parks — a YouTube series of short films created by Epic Montana dedicated to highlight some of the most unique and awe-inspiring travel stops beneath the Big Sky.

Brin and Henry

Merkley and Hawkins during one of the shoots for Between The Parks for Epic Montana. COURTESY PHOTO

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Modesty Creek is officially public land, thanks to two Anacondans


Plan on seeing many more of these signs showing the now officially public Modesty Creek Road northwest of Anaconda. PHOTO BY BLAKE HEMPSTEAD


Following a tenuous wait for verdict by Butte District Judge Kurt Krueger since May, local sportsmen can breathe a sigh of relief — Modest Creek has been returned to the people.

On Tuesday, Krueger ruled the Modesty Creek drainage is to be dedicated for public use, effectively removing the stranglehold landowner and multimillionaire Elijah Letica had on the questioned parcel.

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